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"You'll be fine dad. You have to get better now, for all of us."
"I'm getting better for my sweet grandchild Elora- the rest of you better not excite yourselves too much!" Dad joked back.
It's been a week or so since I've arrived and I've gone virtually unnoticed by many pack members. Dad's health was the worst I had ever seen it, but he was rapidly healing, all praise to the Moon Goddess. He was explaining how having Elora around had given him motivation to get better. Mum and Knox were a bit butthurt, but we all know that dad is getting better and that having Elora near is playing a part in helping him heal.
As much as I love being here, and love watching my little Elora make some great memories here, I internally wished for dad to get better as quick as possible, so that I could go. Leaving soon would reduce my chances of being spotted by Dmitri. Mia said he's been batshit crazy ever since I left the pack. The chances of him finding me is like finding a needle in a haystack. Imp-fucking-ossible.
The me from before I had Elora would be cursing him. The me now doesn't even care. I'm not bothered for his negativity any longer. The more you reminisce negative people and the negative effect they have or have had on you, the more you only hurt yourself.
Anyways, it's nearly Knox's birthday. He'll be turning 18! I can't believe how time flies. Even though this year the circumstances of his birthday will obviously be different- like they've been for the past three years, I'm determined to make it a memorable event. He's been helping out so much, not just at home but with the pack and he's the best uncle Elora could ever ask for.
I've tried asking Knox what he wants for his birthday, but the kid will literally just shake his head at me and with a straight face say; "Family is the gift." Vin Diesel vibes but okay.
"Ariiiii!! Knox won't tell me what he wants for his birthday!" Mia came grumbling into the kitchen. Tomorrow is Knox's birthday, and he still hasn't told any of us what he wants.
"He won't tell me either- he just gives a response you'd expect from someone in a care home."
"HAHA! Yeah the sad little 'Nothing's more important than family. Family is everything. Family is the gift’. Ugh shut it Dom Toretto." Mia cackled, and I couldn't help but to laugh too. Her laugh was entirely contagious.
"Whoo. Okay, he likes carrot cake. But not store-bought. We'll make him a homemade carrot cake, and maybe get him some cologne? Ugh why is buying presents so difficult?" I moaned.
"Men are difficult girl, not buying presents." Mia grumbled and I could tell her words had a somewhat double meaning. Had she found her mate??
I couldn't contain myself when I shrieked in pure excitement.
"Before your maniac ass gets excited- he's a total dick." Mia grunted, acknowledging the fact that I'd immediately thought of her having a mate.
"Do you want to talk about it-"
"Truth be told Ari, no. I don't want to talk. About him or about anyone especially with you." I was taken back by her words. She was so angry and I wish I knew why.
"Mia is everything okay?"
"Is everything okay?!" Mia scoffed, throwing her hands up in exasperation before placing them on her hips.
"YOU don't get to ask me that! Especially after going missing on me for years!"
"Mia we were still in contact over the phone-"
"Please! Stop right there. The fact you even consider that contact says a lot. You were supposed to be my BEST friend. Instead of even telling me where you were going, you let me and so many others wondering what on Earth had happened to you!
We didn't know whether you were dead or alive. At some point a pack official had secretly told us to get a coffin ready! You ditched us all. And now you're back asking ME if everything is okay. It's not. And it doesn't take a genius to figure that out.
I'm going to go before my wolf loses it completely. Don't bother coming after me." Mia finished and stormed out of the house.
Her words hit deep. She was right. I had selfishly left but then again I had Elora to think of, didn't I? And had I told mum where I was going she'd surely have told Dmitri because she wouldn't want her grandchild and daughter to be away from her.
Forget all of that, the past is in the past. I need to figure out what's happened to Mia. She was so touchy on the mate subject. Maybe her mate did something? First I need to apologise to her and hope with all my heart that she forgives me.
Coffee and walnut cake, rose lemonade, cookie dough ice cream, and a huge bar of Toblerone have always been some of Mia's favourite comfort foods. If I head out and buy some of those I can quickly go over to Mia and beg for her forgiveness. There's no way she'd say no to food.
I grabbed the car keys and looked over at my Elora who was seated at the dining table- glancing up at me with confused and slightly fearful eyes.
"'Mama...why was auntie Mimi shouting at you?"
"Don't worry your pretty head about it munchkin, she's just feeling a little down- so I'm going to go and get her some food and talk to her!"
"Can I come?" She pleaded and I already know this girl is coming just so she can buy the entire chocolate section. Elora had my sweet tooth amplified to the point where all her teeth could be sweet teeth.
Taking Elora would be risky- heck even me going to the store alone would be risky but I'm a fully grown she wolf. Elora is just a curious little pup. People will see me with her and rumours will spread. Dmitri will be informed and I don't want to stick around to suffer the consequences.
"One second baby, let mama grab her wallet." I ruffled up her hair as I bounded up the stairs in a bid to find both my wallet and someone to babysit Elora.
I grabbed my wallet from my room and went over to Knox's room- only to find a sleeping Knox spread on his bed.
My parents were sleeping too- mum and dad both lay on the same bed- with mum curled up in dad's lap. Not wanting to disturb them, I decided it would be best to take Elora with me.
Putting on her shoes and my own shoes, I grabbed her and buckled her into her car bumper seat. The nearest store wasn't that far, and luckily there weren't many people here today.
"Cake...check...huge ass Toblerone...check. Rose lemonade hmm where's that...found it! Now for the ice cream.
Elora baby do you want any ice cream? You were asking for some this morning- there's a lot of variety here so come and let me know which one you want baby."
"Elora??! Baby where are you!?" I shrieked once the realisation that Elora wasn't holding my hand struck. I dropped the basket full of Mia's comfort foods as I rushed around the store- probably looking like a headless chicken.
"My name is Elora...what's your name?" I heaved a sigh of relief as I spotted her.
"Elora! Don't run away from me like that EVER AGAIN! You hear me baby? I was so worried. Come here." I hugged my daughter as my wolf finally calmed down. The two of us were so worried about Elora.
"Nice to meet you Elora, I'm-" My gaze suddenly went up to the person Elora had been conversing with.
"Dmitri..." I breathed out in shock.
His face radiated pure ecstasy as he gave us both a satisfied look. He looked at Elora with such pride and adoration. That was probably the result of the combined feelings of him and his wolf Hayden after seeing their pup. But Elora is mine.
For a second I admit even I was taken aback by Dmitri' appearance. He seemed so much more rough around the edges, his muscles were a lot bigger too and he's grown out a beard. The look suited him. He smirked as he realised I was checking him out and all I could do was glare at him for he was doing the same- he was undressing me with his eyes and I could tell.
Lena's instincts kicked in as I picked up Elora and hid her face in the crook of my neck. Hayden didn't seem to like this as Dmitri's eyes flashed black for a second and he growled showing his disagreement with me hiding what he claims as his pup from him. Sure he's biologically Elora's father but he has never been present in her life. Heck he rejected her before she even existed!
"What do you want, Dmitri?" I managed to grit out, not failing to notice the crowd that had surrounded us, all of whom were on Dmitri's side.
"There's only one thing I want. And you know what that is."